Notes: The 2006 Cobalt continued to carry the torch first lit by the 2005 model year. To be clear, that torch is burning bright with widespread power steering issues, electrical curiosities and a dangerous ignition switch defect which led to a massive recall by GM. This isn’t a great torch to carry.

The 2006 added it’s own special flare with gas leaks due to cracks in the “return portion of the modular reservoir assembly.” A recall of 2006 Cobalts was issued to fix the problem, but only to vehicles sold in or current registered in Arizona and Nevada, leaving other owners to pay for repairs themselves.

Between this car stalling while driving, giving owners fits with power steering failure and having it be a potential tinderbox because of gas leaks, we felt we had no other option than to award it our “Avoid Like the Plague” badge.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,623 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 41 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #317

Oct 232009


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 15 mph the traction and the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a technician stated that the power steering kit needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 85,000. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #316

Nov 212009


  • 66,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, I was driving down the road and the power steering in the car went out. The area I live in has alot of windy road which I happened to be driving on when it went out. I pulled over and turned the car off and it seemed to help momentarily. With out the power steering it makes the car almost impossible to drive. I had to drive the rest of the way home with the flashers on and 30 miles an hour on a highway, very dangerous. I have looked online and there has many complaints about this vehicle doing this.

- Allison Park , PA, USA

problem #315

Oct 202009


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Intermittently while driving the power steering warning light illuminates on the instrument control panel, and the the power steering fails. A mechanic speculated that the steering column needed to be replaced. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were 41,000.

- Treeport, LA, USA

problem #314

Aug 132009


  • 51,000 miles


Failure of power steering while driving.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #313

Nov 172009


  • 51,781 miles
While driving a beeping sound came on and the words power steering appeared below the speedometer and the power steering gave out immediately. I was initially caught off guard but luckily I was only traveling at about 25 mph and there was no other traffic or kids on the street. I turn the car off and the power steering goes back to normal. Again while driving without warning three beeps and the words power steering appear and the power steering gives out immediately. If this a recurring problem with the Chevy Cobalt hopefully it can get resolved before there is loss of life or serious injuries.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #312

Nov 132009


  • 52,009 miles
As I was driving the "power steering" light came on. Caused me to loose my steering while I was in the middle of turning, I almost hit another car and I would have if they did not swerve to miss me. The fact that the power steering is now electric is complete !@#$% in my opinion. I went out, bought power steering liquid to add to it like a normal car and instead I found out I have to take it back to the dealer to have it serviced? this is very inconvenient for my busy schedule and I expected more out of a GM car.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #311

Aug 242009


  • 80,000 miles


I'm having problems with my power steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. It always goes in and out when I'm driving. Many times I have lost control of my car due to this problem. The problem started about 3 months ago but I have not had the money to get it fix. This is a on going problem!

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #310

Nov 042009


  • 60,900 miles
When driving my dash displayed a power steering message. Then the car starts to jump and then check engine light comes on. Then I lose power steering. When we took it to the dealer (twice) they could not find the problem. This has happened about 5 times and did not happen until my car had about 900 miles over the 60,000 warranty miles. My car is a Chevy Cobalt 2006.

- Elpaso, IL, USA

problem #309

Nov 142009


  • 4,200 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. I was on my way to work when the car dinged and I look down to see that it was saying the my power steering was out. I turn the car off and restarted it and then it went away. I thought that it was nothing until it came back on the next time I drove my car. I then went and researched it on the internet when I found out that there is a lot people having the same issue. I am one if the ones that can not afford the pay for this problem to be fixed. When are they going to do a recall on the this problem.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #308

Jul 012009


  • 62,000 miles
Electric power assisted steering on 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is not working.

- Odessa, TX, USA

problem #307

Nov 012009


  • 70,000 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt steering failed taking a sharp turn causing car to cross centerline hitting another car head on, son suffered a very bad broken leg requiring a rod from knee to ankle.

- Normalville , PA, USA

problem #306

Oct 062009


  • 37,500 miles
Power steering failure 2006 Chevy Cobalt 2006.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #305

Nov 072009


  • 100,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt has power steering failure and I own one and there is no recall on this problem. My guess is no one has died from it, yet. The steering is electrical instead of hydraulic. Every time I go down the rod within two minutes the warning buzzer and the dash lights up and I lose all steering.

- S.Boston, VA, USA

problem #304

Nov 072009


  • 58,400 miles
When driving car power steering shuts off randomly. This makes the car very difficult to steer and control. First instance was 11/7/09. This now happens quite frequently (2-4) times everytime I drive the car. Doesn't matter if the car is idling at a red light or driving 50 mph. At this time no accidents have resulted but it's only a matter of time. Have not contacted dealer or mechanic yet as I have read and heard that this is a wide-spread problem with this particular vehicle and would like to see a recall done.

- Smyrna , DE, USA

problem #303

Oct 312009


  • 63,000 miles
My power steering is going in and out. My car is only a few years old. I went on the computer and did some research and I am not the only one that is having problems. Apparently there is some kind of defect because a ton of people are having this problem. I am one of the lucky ones that did wreck or cause injury to anyone. I am doing this complaint in order for this not to happen to others and maybe GM will do a recall on this defect.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #302

Oct 272009


  • 51,373 miles
Electronic power steering goes out, first happen in Oct, had it checked and was told it is a motor circuit that is on the steering column and would cost $1000 to $1500 to fix because they have to take column out to get to it, it goes out driving down the road at anytime one or 2 time a day, so you have to stop and turn off motor and restart and it will work for a few more miles or not! it makes it very hard to steer and I cant keep driving it like this so am taking it in to repair, I don't really want to pay for something I think Chevy should fix that a lot of cars are having but don't have a choice as I cant keep driving it this way.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #301

Nov 072009


  • 44,180 miles
While driving car suddenly pulls hard to the right or left. It happens sporadically steering problem.

- Triadelphia, WV, USA

problem #300

Nov 092009


  • 46,000 miles
Still having problems with steering on 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Power steering goes out randomly if it is stopped recranked it will reset. On going problem for myself and lots of other Cobalt owners. I have searched many online forums and found others that have the same problem. GM needs to recall this and fix what they know is wrong. Two websites are and Chevy Cobalt forum, please do something before there is death or injuries involved.

- Fieldale, VA, USA

problem #299

Nov 082009


  • 60,842 miles
Hi I drive a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with around 60,000 miles. Recently I was driving down the road and a message appeared in the display reading "power steering." Seconds later the power steering quit working. I was turning into a gas station and almost ran over someone because of this. I parked the car and shut it off. After checking the fuse box and seeing no obvious signs of what could be the problem I started my car and the message was gone and the power steering worked fine. Thinking that this may have been an intermittent glitch I drove back home and sure enough, 2 miles down the road the message re-appeared and the power steering stopped working. After doing some research this appears to be a consistent issue among the majority of Cobalt owners. This is a safety hazard if I've ever seen one. How many close calls is it going to take for GM to repair this obvious problem" or is it actually going to take a few deaths for someone to open their eyes and realize there's a serious issue at hand"

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #298

Nov 052009


  • 78,567 miles
I just bought a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and on my way from the dealers, the "power steering" light illuminated on the communication center. I then looked online and found out that this is an ongoing safety issue. Does the GM company know about this issue, and are they now recalling and fixing this problem?

- Hampton, VA, USA

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